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Old 2007.02.17, 09:36 AM   #1
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'Neutral car' and newbie learning

Hi, all.

I am a newbie, and recently just picked up a mini z AWD for fun. I had started upgrading my car, after playing for weeks on hard wooden floor at home.

At first I followed some more experienced driver advice at LHS to build a fully hop-up-ed car, but I later on realized all this setting and re-setting up really might be just too much for a newbie, and what I essentially need is practice time and time to understand my car.

And that is when I start to build my 'neutral' car, which suppose to be a car better in performance and handling(than stock), and allow me to better my driving skill before more fine tuning my car.

This car mostly run to grippy surface like RCP or carpet, and it is meant to grip(speed) more than drifting. And more often than not, the tracks I experience are rather small and tends to be more technical(narrow width and sharp corners). I will love to have it more nimble in entering and exiting a corner, since I felt that is the only chance I could keep up with other 02 drivers.

My 'neutral' car setup:

Remote: Ko Helios Ex10 with AD band module
Car length: 94mm
Grey/blue body
PCB: AD band board
Shell: modified Mclaren F1 to fit a 94mm body (offset: 2.5F narrow/0R wide) or Xanavi 350Z (offset: 3.5F narrow/2R wide)

All around using:
Kyosho plastic 1.5 deg knuckle
0.3 mm height adjustment spacer

Atm plastic ball differential (with spacer to reduce slop)
Atm Ti drive shaft
Atm Al toe bar 0 deg
Atm SSG front upper cover
Spring: Kyosho yellow(hard)
Tire: 20 deg narrow flat Atm

Center shaft: Kyosho Ti shaft
Motor: Kyosho X-speed
gear ratio: 19/31
3 racing motor cover
P/N racing center shaft retaing parts(those two orange 'hooks')

Atm plastic ball differential (with spacer to reduce slop)
Atm Ti drive shaft
3 racing rear upper cover
Atm Al toe-in bar toe-in +1 deg
Spring: stock
Tire: 10 deg wide groove Atm

If I may, I'd like to know whether what I have learnt so far is correct from this car. Most of my problem seems to come from finding the right tightness of my front and rear diff(?)...which the car doesn't handly well in taking the corner. My RC experience had been more than 15 years and more, and this is totally new...please bare with me:

1) I see two 'camps' of thoughts for diff tightness: either front looser/rear tighter OR front tighter/rear looser. I am a little more biased towards the front looser/rear tighter...because the car seems to be able to turn in quicker and I could always 'push' the car rear end out to exit if it is understeer...but what do you think and why(kindly in laymen terms, please)?

2) How do you setup your front/rear diff quickly and efficiently? Do everyone start with both really tight diff and loosen it bit by bit? Which do you start working on first, front or rear diff adjustment? Why?

3) If the front end has more grip, the car will tend to oversteer; and if the rear end has more grip, the car will tend to understeer. Y/N

4) Given the same camber all around, softer spring will genrally allow more grip? Y/N

Given the same spring all around, more camber will allow generally more grip? Y/N

5) Besides the suitable tightness adjustment for front/rear diff, anything I could change to allow better handling/nimbleness of car?

6) I do travel a bit by work...and with so many things to tune, despite all the good fun, I am a little confused in terms of how to setup a stock car fully and quickly whenever approaching a new track. Please rate what will you tune first when your car to a new track (to race?)
or what will be your own approach?

A) front diff tightness
B) back diff tightness
C) Tires
D) Camber
E) Toe in/out
F) Spring
G) Ride height

7) How do you rate the above for impacting the cars handling/cornering characteristic?

I know there are quite a bit of questions, and I'd be really grateful if some/any of them are answered. Thank you in advance!!

ps I add in question no. 7, from my humble experience, I would think C, A/B, F, E, D....but I could be wrong.

Last edited by Aurora; 2007.02.17 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 2007.02.17, 10:28 AM   #2
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I can't really help you on the diff stuff, but I also have my rear diff a little tighter than the front. I also have atomic diffs. As for your other questions,


4.A softer spring does give that certain end of the car more grip. There is a limit on effective camber though. 1.5-2.5 degrees of camber is good. Anything more, and your not using the width of the tire efficiently

5. You can try changing the toe on your car. Just this week I was using 0 toe bar on the front and +2 toe in on the rear. I wanted a little more turn in for the tight turns, so I changed my front to -1 toe out and it worked.

6. I usually don't change much on my setup, but I usually change the easiest parts to get to. So I think this would be my rating

2.toe in/out
3.front diff
4.rear diff
5. tires( tires make drastic changes in handling. My setup is usually pretty good, so I only need minor changes to make it a tad better)
6. ride height ( I can't really tell any differences when I change the height)
7. camber(I changed mine to 2 degrees since I got my awd, and my radial tires have even wear, so its doing what it should be doing. I have no plans on changing it.)

5-7 I hardly ever change. Thats my $.02. Others will have more info on the diffs to clear it up for you

Last edited by pinoyboy; 2007.02.17 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 2007.02.17, 12:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply!

4) and 5), right now I am using the Kyosho plastic 1.5 deg kunckle all round and a front 0/rear +1 toe bars. I do remember the car seems to turn better when I was using 3 racing Al 2 deg.

But learning from other drivers, I reconsider the all-out Aluminum hop-up idea and purposedly use the plastic knuckle--since a system must have a week point to allow all the impact force to go, otherwise, I might just end up with many bent/binding Al parts. I too am thinking of possibly using a 3 deg Kyosho plastic knuckle(they only go from 0, 1.5, 3, 4.5) and/or a toe-out -1 deg up front.

What I am not certain is whether the camber or the toe-out will have more effect on my car handling.

Currently, I must admit when it come to diff adjustment, it does constantly get me serious headaches. I wish there is a way I could 'remember' or find a general rule(like "rotate around 45 deg from the tightest point...") as how I adjust my diff. I do hear some more senior drivers claiming Kyosho diff is probably one of the best and do offer meaningful diff. action...but it is harder to get to/adjust, and with my minimum skill, it will take dozens of opening the covers/trail at track to just get it to then, it probably is time to clean that puppy and start all over again.

Please keep the advices/opinions coming!
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Old 2007.02.17, 11:55 PM   #4
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Diff adjustment - Tighter front diff, looser rear diff. Start with rear diff loosen it to the point that it almost slips...but doesnt. Then adjust front diff alittle at a time.

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Old 2007.02.18, 09:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input!

When you say 'slip', is hearing the 'whining' sound the best way to tell, or do you run the tires by lefting up the front(to observe whether there is a delay in acceleration)? I know if the car is slipping since the sound is different and loss of transmission...but I can't really tell whether the front is slipping or rear is slipping(or both) until checking it by hand and/or having the car to perform tight turns.

Also, I often felt that a tighter front than rear will make the car less responsive in turning/cornering, is this tight front/loose rear setting meant to understeer, or more suitable for large track with wide turns? Or am I overtightening it so the observation is off?
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Old 2007.02.18, 08:54 PM   #6
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Just loosen the rear diff will sit and spin before it starts, then tighten it alittle at a time. You dont want it to slip, just closer to that end. The tighter front/looser rear seems to work on small and big tracks.

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